Young France Gall was notoriously reticent to record this song, but little did she know that Sacré Charlemagne, released in December 1964, would soon become her first major success in France and abroad. In this cheerfully catchy song, mischievous France and her friends blame medieval Emperor Charlemagne for "inventing school" (a popular myth at the time of the song, since education became mandatory for all children during his reign). Covered several times over the years, it's still a favourite of schoolchildren.
So feel like a cheeky schoolkid again while singing along to Sacré Charlemagne with our bilingual article below!
After listening to the song, scroll down for the transcript in our bilingual reader, where you can click any French phrase for the English translation and related grammar lessons.